The Phantom Menace crosses $1b at the box office as Darth Maul returns to the Star Wars universe

Off the back of its 3D re-release, George Lucas’ fan-derided opening chapter of his epic space opera, Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menance, has now crossed $1 billion dollars at the global box office, becoming only the eleventh film in history to do so. According to THR, The Phantom Menace reached the landmark on Wednesday, with the current re-release adding $73.4m to give the film a grand total of $1.004b, while it will also have overtaken Christopher Nolan’s acclaimed Batman sequel The Dark Knight by the end of play today, breaking into the top ten highest-grossing films of all time.

Meanwhile, in other Star Wars news, the one bright spot of The Phantom Menace – no, not Jar Jar Binks – looks set to be sullied as the tattooed Sith Lord Darth Maul returns to a galaxy far, far away in animated form for the final story arc of season four of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. It would seem that being sliced in half by a Jedi Knight (not to mention falling down a huge shaft) isn’t enough to keep a good Sith down, and you can check out a trailer for Darth Maul’s return right here…

Darth Maul will make his return tonight on Cartoon Network in the US.

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